Alexis de Tocqueville (1840)

Democracy in America

Volume 1

Alexis De Tocqueville

Written: 1840;
Translated: by Henry Reeve, revised and corrected, 1839;
Source: Project Gutenberg,;
E-text: by David Reed,, February, 1997;
HTML Mark-up: by Andy Blunden.

Table of Contents

  1. The Exterior Form of North America
  2. Origin of the Anglo-Americans, and the Importance of this Origin in Relation to their Future Condition.
  3. Social Condition of the Anglo-Americans.
  4. The Principle of the Sovereignty of the People of North America.
  5. The Necessity of Examining the Condition of the States Before that of the Union at Large.
  6. Judicial Power in the United States and its Influence on Political Society.
  7. Political Jurisdiction in The United States.
  8. The Federal Constitution.
  9. Preface to Volume I, Part 2.
  10. How it can be Strictly Said That the People Govern in The United States.
  11. Liberty of the Press in The United States.
  12. Political Associations in The United States.
  13. Government of the Democracy in The United States.
  14. What are the Advantages which American Society Derives from a Democratic Government?
  15. Unlimited Power of the Majority in The United States, and its Consequences.
  16. Causes which Mitigate the Tyranny of the Majority in The United States.
  17. Principal Causes which Serve to Maintain the Democratic Republic in The United States.
  18. The Present and Probably Future Condition of the Three Races that Inhabit the Territory of The United States.

Volume II

Section I: Influence of Democracy on the
Action of Intellect in The United States.

  1. Philosophical Method of The Americans.
  2. Of the Principal Source of Belief Among Democratic Nations.
  3. Why the Americans Show More General Aptitude and Taste for General Ideas that their Forefathers, The English.
  4. Why the Americans have never been so Eager as the French for General Ideas in Political Affairs.
  5. How Religion in The United States Avails itself of Democratic Tendencies.
  6. The Progress of Roman Catholicism in The United States,
  7. What Causes Democratic Nations to Incline toward Pantheism,
  8. How Equality Suggests to the Americans the Indefinite Perfectibility of Man.
  9. The Example of the Americans does not Prove that a Democratic People can have no Aptitude and no Taste for Science, Literature, or Art.
  10. Why the Americans are more Addicted to Practical rather than Theoretical Science.
  11. In What Spirit the Americans Cultivate the Arts.
  12. Why the Americans Raise Some Insignificant Monuments and Others that are Very Grand.
  13. Literary Characteristics of Democratic Times.
  14. The Trade of Literature.
  15. The Study of Greek and Latin Literature is Peculiarly Useful in The United States.
  16. How American Democracy has Modified the English Language.
  17. Of Some Sources of Poetry Among Democratic Nations.
  18. Why American Writers and Orators Use an Inflated Style.
  19. Some Observations of the Drama among Democratic Nations.
  20. Some Characteristics of Historians in Democratic Times.
  21. On Parliamentary Eloquence in The United States.

Section 2: Influence of Democracy on the Feelings of Americans.

  1. Why Democratic Nations Show a more Ardent and Enduring Love of Equality than of Liberty.
  2. Of Individualism in Democratic Countries.
  3. Individualism Strong at the Close of a Democratic Revolution than at Other Periods.
  4. That the Americans Combat the Effects of Individualism with Free Institutions.
  5. Of the Uses which the Americans Make of Public Associations.
  6. Of the Relation of Public Associations and the Newspapers.
  7. Relation of Civil to Political Associations.
  8. How the Americans Combat Individualism by the Principle of Self-Interest Rightly Understood.
  9. That the Americans Apply the Principle of Self-interest Rightly Understood to Religions Matters.
  10. Of the Taste for Physical Well-being in America.
  11. Peculiar Effects of the Love of Physical Gratification in Democratic Times.
  12. Why Some Americans Manifest a Sort of Spiritual Fanaticism.
  13. Why the Americans are so Restless in the Midst of their Prosperity.
  14. How the Taste for Physical Gratification's is United in America to Love of Freedom and Attention to Public Affairs.
  15. How Religious Belief Sometimes Turns Americans to Immaterial Pleasures.
  16. How Excessive Care for Worldly Welfare may Impair that Welfare.
  17. How, When Conditions are Equal and Skepticism is Rife, it is Important to Direct Human Actions to Distant Objects.
  18. Why Among the Americans All Honest Callings are Considered Honorable.
  19. What Causes Almost All Americans to Follow an Industrial Calling.
  20. How an Aristocracy may be Created by Manufactures.

Section 3: Influence of Democracy on Manners Properly so Called.

  1. How Customs are Softened as Social Conditions become more Equal.
  2. How Democracy Renders the Social Intercourse of the Americans Free and Easy.
  3. Why the Americans Show so Little Sensitiveness in their own Country and are so Sensitive in Europe.
  4. Consequences of the Preceding Three Chapters.
  5. How Democracy Affects the Relations of Masters and Servants.
  6. How Democratic Institutions and Manners Tend to Raise Rents and Shorten the Terms of Leases.
  7. Influence of Democracy on Wages.
  8. Influence of Democracy on the Family.
  9. Education of Young Women in The United States.
  10. The Young Woman in the Character of the Wife.
  11. How Equality of Condition Contributes in America to Good Morals.
  12. How Americans Understand the Equality of the Sexes.
  13. How the Principle of Equality Naturally Divides the Americans into a Multitude of Small Circles.
  14. Some Reflections on American Manners.
  15. Of the Gravity of the Americans and why it does not Prevent them from often doing Inconsiderate Things.
  16. Why the National Vanity of the Americans is more Restless and Captious than that of the English.
  17. How the Aspect of Society in The United States is at once Excited and Monotonous.
  18. Of Honor in The United States and in Democratic Communities.
  19. Why so many Ambitious Men and so Little Lofty Ambition are to be Found in The United States.
  20. The Trade of Place-hunting in Certain Democratic Societies.
  21. Why Great Revolutions Will become More Rare.
  22. Why Democratic Nations Naturally Desire Peace, and Democratic Armies, War.
  23. Which is the Most Warlike and Revolutionary Class in Democratic Armies.
  24. Causes Which Render Democratic Armies Weaker than Other Armies at the Outset of a Campaign, and More Formidable in Protracted Warfare.
  25. Of Discipline in Democratic Armies.
  26. Some Considerations on War in Democratic Communities.

Section 4: Influence of Democratic Ideas and Feelings on Political Society.

  1. Influence of Democratic Ideas and Feelings on Political Society.
  2. That the Opinions of Democratic Nations about Government are Naturally Favorable to the Concentration of Power.
  3. That the Sentiments of Democratic Nations Accord with their Opinions in Leading them to Concentrate Political Power.
  4. Of Certain Peculiar and Accidental Causes which either Lead a People to Complete the Centralization of Government or Divert them from it.
  5. That Among the European Nations of our Time the Sovereign Power is Increasing, Although the Sovereigns are Less Stable.
  6. What sort of Despotism Democratic Nations have to Fear.
  7. Continuation of the Preceding Chapters.
  8. General Survey of the Subject.